Scattershooting, while wondering whatever happened to….
Writer’s Note: Today, I’m launching a new semi-occasional column which I’ll update every month, or so. It’s called “Scattershooting.” I
borrowed ripped-off this concept from a former legendary sportswriter named Blackie Sherrod, who used to write for the now-defunct Dallas Times-Herald. Blackie wrote a column every Sunday which appeared in the Sports section. He’d post short snippets about what was going on in sports and elsewhere, and then give his opinions. Blackie always began his column with the familiar trademark line, “Scattershooting, while wondering whatever happened to…..” — followed by some famous name that seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. Here’s “Scattershooting” column number one.
Scattershooting, while wondering whatever happened to…..Hamid Dastmalchi.
Enjoyed a fabulous wine dinner last night with the lovely Marieta Dalla, which featured pairings from the Markham Vineyards, from Napa. Bottles are priced right up my alley, ranging from $18-35 (retail).
Website traffic is now at an all-time high, averaging about 50,000 visitors per month. Now, if I can somehow convert all these people into socialists and atheists we might be able to save the country. I’ll keep on trying.
Funny that when I post anything that’s too hardcore — like leftist stuff or Jesus-bashing, my Twitter following plummets like a penny stock. I think people like what they read for a while and gradually become regulars. Then, I unexpectedly play hardball with fantasy Sky Daddy, and shit hits the fan. People get offended and run away. Okay, bye then. I’m not here on stroke parade.
Last week, I spent several days working with the great television production crew at Poker Night in America. Okay, so they did all the work. I mostly sat around and gave orders, which no one followed. Production offices are in downtown Fargo (North Dakota), which is fast becoming my favorite hangout (really). It’s the people there who make it special (even though most of them lean Libertarian) — especially Todd, Matt, Tony, Aaron, Jason, Chris, Katie, and Q. The first few poker shows are really coming together nicely and the first season is ramping up to hit the air this summer.
Speaking of Poker Night in America, look for at least three major announcements to be made in the coming weeks. We’ve played it really low key for now, while in production. Like in, shhhhhhhhhhhhh….we’re not quite there yet. But the show is really coming together nicely. I’ll write more detail when I can, but then when I do I might have to kill someone.
Speaking of a really big show, the 45th annual World Series of Poker is fast upon us. Gold bracelet events are just a week away. Can you believe that? Wasn’t I just at the Rio yesterday talking to Ryan Riess, the reigning world champion? All the action takes place at the Rio in Las Vegas again, now in its tenth year as host of the most prestigious event in gambling and poker. Events run May 27th-July 14th. You’ll be getting a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff right here, over the next two months.
As for my duties at the WSOP this year, I’m stepping in front of the camera each day, along with WSOP.com editor and co-host extraordinaire Jessica Welman. We’ll be hosting a “WSOP Today”-themed show that will air online right before each of the final table broadcasts are set to stream semi-live. Think of the “NFL Today” or “NBA on TNT,” and that’s the look we’re going for. I wonder — does that make me Charles Barkley or Mike Ditka? Jess and I occasionally disagree on various poker topics, so expect some on-air fireworks to happen.
Today, I ran three miles in The Lakes. I’ve started running three days, followed by cycling one day, then one day off. I’m in a very comfortable routine right now, so I’m going to stick with this pace, with an occasional push (longer distance). A year ago, I was ripping five miles a day, six days a week, which really put me to the test. We had a record heat wave at about this time last summer, where local temperatures hit 115-118 for two straight weeks. You have to work the body into top shape to take that kind of heat and right now it’s been in the 80s and 90s (beautiful), which means I need to work up a tolerance to the elements.
At least four new poker books are coming out in the next month, and I’ve enjoyed an advance look at three of them. Books by Dutch Boyd, Eric Raskin, Doug J. Swanson, and Greg Dinkin all hit my desk recently. I’ll be posting reviews as time permits.
I’ll get back to the videos at some point (“Talking Points”). Frankly, I haven’t had much extra time to make any in the past two weeks. Writing is much easier for me, anyway. Much tougher to spontaneously speak on video for 20 minutes straight, unless I’m really pissed off, and then it’s easy.
Poker News liked my column last month about the “Most Important Poker Books (Non-Fiction) Ever Written and Why They’re Important.” They commissioned me to write a similar column on strategy books. That column should appear very soon.
Card Player wants to me write for them, as well. I’m really honored to be asked. Of course, Card Player is where I got my start in poker, just about 20 years ago. Julio Rodriguez does a nice job there and I look forward to contributing when I can.
Speaking of writing projects, Bluff asked me to do a piece on the 25th anniversary of Phil Hellmuth’s victory at the 1989 WSOP. I told Lance Bradley that I was not present that year (I was living in Europe 1989-1991). But since Hellmuth can’t be trusted to write his own fluff piece, I’ll go ahead and give it a shot. Actually, it will be fun to compare the atmosphere of the 1989 WSOP to the modern era. Look for that column to appear in the July issue of Bluff.
Just a thought — why does every disaster movie with asteroids or killer Godzilla have New York City getting wiped off the map? According to pure chance, wouldn’t the asteroid land somewhere in Siberia, or maybe the Pacific Ocean? And what makes New York so attractive to monster Godzilla? Should the beast be far more interested in getting away from people and eating plenty of leafy green vegetables out on the plains?
And finally — now headed over to Fleming’s Steakhouse (Summerlin location) right now for dinner. After that, it’s back home to do a lot of writing. I’ll be up late tonight. Look for another controversial topic tomorrow morning.
Good night and good luck.